A variety of reasons, from smoking tobacco to simply aging, may cause your once beautiful white teeth to look yellow. Andrea C. Beavers, PA-C shows you how to turn your frown upside down through simple cosmetic whitening and basic lifestyle changes at Star Treatment Healthcare Services and Med Spa in Dallas, Texas.
When good teeth go bad
Teeth turn yellow or gray for myriad reasons, such as:
As we age, the enamel on our teeth grows thinner, due to chewing and consuming acidic foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda. As enamel thins, it exposes more of the yellow dentin layer, which lies between the tooth’s enamel and underlying pulp. Our bodies cannot repair tooth enamel once it wears down. Instead, Mrs. Beavers provides a bleaching agent to offset yellowing.
Maybe you were born this way. Our tooth color usually mirrors that of our parents. Dentists generally divide tooth color into four categories:
When you’re ready to whiten your teeth, Mrs. Beavers helps you choose your ideal brightness level.
Tooth injuries may cause them to change color, due to inadequate blood flow.
Certain medications or treatments alter tooth color, including:
- Radiation to head or neck
- Medications, such as tetracycline and doxycycline
- Blood pressure drugs
Even certain infections during pregnancy may cause changes in the unborn baby’s teeth. Mrs. Beavers reviews your medications and habits to see if certain alterations could preserve tooth enamel.
While most dentists recommend fluoride to help preserve your teeth. Fluoride bonds with certain elements in your tooth enamel creating fluorapatite to fight decay. Too much fluoride, however, from rinses or water supplies, causes issues from discoloration to health problems, such as fatigue, osteoporosis, and arthritis. We’ll help you find the middle ground to remain healthy and fight tooth decay.
Your teeth are what you eat
Consuming otherwise healthy foods, such as apples and potatoes, may stain your teeth. Watch out for the following foods and beverages:
- Tomato sauce
- Soy sauce
- Coffee or tea
- Grape or cranberry juice
Mrs. Beavers recommends using a straw with cool drinks, and brushing or rinsing after consuming these to lessen their effect.
Lifestyle changes to brighten your smile
Of course, there are things you can do to lessen the effects that can dull your smile and help it stay healthy and bright.
Let’s start with one of the most difficult. If you smoke, stop; or at least, cut back. Nicotine not only stains teeth, but injures gums and health.
Regular teeth cleanings
Make your whitening treatments even more effective with regular dental cleanings
that reduce plaque, stains, and tartar, making it easier for whitening ingredients to penetrate teeth.
Brush and floss regularly
These tried-and-true methods help preserve tooth color and gums. Just don’t brush too hard or you may wear down the enamel even further.
Rinse with baking soda
Used sparingly, baking soda’s abrasiveness helps remove stains from your teeth.
Relieve chronic dry mouth
A dry mouth encourages bacterial growth, which contributes to many dental woes from cavities to gum disease and yellowing. Understand why you sleep with your mouth open, which sets the stage for dryness. It might be due to sleep apnea or other breathing issues. Xylitol gum and rinses increase saliva production to counteract dryness. Various health issues, such as the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome, diabetes, and even an oral yeast infection also promote dry mouth. We pinpoint the causes of your problem and recommend ways to ease the dryness for healthier teeth and gums.
Lighten the shadows of your smile
Mrs. Beavers determines whether whitening is right for you. If so, she’ll provide you with an at-home whitening kit and tell you all you need to know about bleaching your teeth. When you’re ready to let your beautiful smile shine even brighter, contact Andrea C. Beavers, PA-C and our caring team at Star Treatment Healthcare Services and Med Spa to schedule an appointment.